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CA Vehicle Code and Out Of State Vehicles

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  • CA Vehicle Code and Out Of State Vehicles

    I'm a federal officer that just relocated to Northern CA. While under PC 830 my agency could enforce state laws through the state courts after taking an 832 class, my agency at this point simply uses our federal authority. Under our federal authority we can adopt all state traffic laws into federal courts.

    My question comes to the CA Vehicle Code and out-of-state vehicles. What offenses does the CA VC not apply to out of state vehicles?

    I know the CA tint law wouldn't apply. However I know of states where officers can't cite out of state vehicles/drivers for things like expired registration, expired license, etc.

    Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    You can stop for any violation on any vehicle, regardless of what the license plate says. Now would you issue a citation to a visitor from AZ who has tinted front windows? You could, but it isn't within the spirit of the law.

    And according to CA law, if someone is a resident of this State, they must register their cars with the CA DMV (with a few exceptions) if the car remains in CA. So if you've got a driver who's car is registered in Idaho but hasn't lived in Idaho for 6 months and plans to live in CA permanently, you could probably cite for tinted windows/reg/etc.

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    • #3
      Generally a transiting vehicle must comply with the respective states traffic laws; however it is accepted that things such as tint violations are not usually enforced unless the vehicle becomes regularly domiciled and/or in in the state you are enforcing for.

      I would add that you should consult with your agency legal advisor and the Magistrate Court liaison.
      Originally posted by SSD
      It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
      Originally posted by Iowa #1603
      And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

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      • #4
        You need to review the CA Vehicle Code. If the section reads "Any vehicle registered in this state" that would only apply to CA vehicles. If the section reads "Any vehicle upon a highway" that would apply to any vehicle regardless of the state of registration.

        Most equipment violations apply to any vehicle upon a highway. One notable exception that isn't worded quite that way is 5204 CVC. Which simply states that all plates issued to a vehicle must be properly displayed. So if a state like Cali which issues 2 plates then both plates must be displayed. But if it's a AZ vehicle where they only issue one plate than no front plate would be required. Generally I leave out of state vehicles alone on this issue.
        Today's Quote:

        "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
        Albert Einstein

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